Protocol Seeks to Protect Indigenous Knowledge (Solomon Times Online)

24 Oct Protocol Seeks to Protect Indigenous Knowledge (Solomon Times Online)

Press Release – 24 October 2010 Nagoya, Japan – Indigenous knowledge should be protected and communities which possess it must be adequately compensated if such knowledge is used for commercial purposes.

How much compensation, however, is one of the issues under the microscope in Nagoya as Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meet to review the progress of the convention.

Samoa is a party to the convention. Its delegation which includes the CEO of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Taule’ale’ausumai La’avasa Malua and Tony Tipama’a has been actively taking part in the discussions.

One of the working groups at COP 10 is negotiating a protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS).


Why is a protocol necessary?

Valerie Normand, an ABS Programme Officer for the CBD, said the reasons are twofold.

“The first is that providers [of genetic resource(s)] have been very concerned about the misappropriation of their resources,” she told the world media invited to Nagoya for COP 10.

“And this is due to in part to the fact it is very difficult to know what happens to a genetic resource once it leaves the provider country. So the Protocol aims to develop measures which will assist providers in ensuring the sharing of benefits from the use of their resources once they have left the provider country.”

Users of such resources and knowledge have also been complaining, she said.

“They have been very frustrated over the years with the absence of proper measures at the national level when they seek to obtain access to genetic resources,” said Ms Normand. …Go to article.